Bank giant Citigroup back in black


Citigroup has returned to the black after posting net income of 6.6 billion pounds in 2010

US banking giant Citigroup has returned to the black after posting net income of £6.6 billion in 2010.

Citi, which employs 11,000 staff in the UK according to its website and owns credit card brand Egg, posted a net loss of £1 billion in 2009.

The bank added that employee pay and benefit expenses were down 2% compared to the previous year, to £15.3 billion.

Although the earnings came in under analyst expectations, the figures show Citi has mostly recovered from the losses that drove it to seek a £28.1 billion bailout from the US government during the financial crisis.

The results follow better-than-expected figures from rival JP Morgan last week, which reported full-year net income of £11 billion for 2010.

The figures mark the first profitable year for Citi since chief executive Vikram Pandit took the helm in late 2007. The bank, the third largest in the US, also posted its fourth consecutive profitable quarter – after recording net income of £814 million in the final three months.

Mr Pandit said: “2010 was a year full of milestones and was critical for the turnaround of this institution.”

He said the company’s core business Citicorp – which includes retail and investment banking – performed well, while the bank continued to wind down its Citi Holdings arm, which deals with brokerage and asset management.

Citi is the second of the American players, after JP Morgan, to report in the annual results season, with the US sector being watched closely on these shores as UK banks prepare to release figures next month. It is feared big US bonuses will prompt UK counterparts to follow suit, with concerns also that Government attempts to rein in British banker handouts are failing.

Goldman Sachs reports on Wednesday while Morgan Stanley and Bank of America post results later this week.

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